Recently, I bought a TonidoPlug computer. I was pretty excited by Tonido's marketing (fail), and told myself that if for some reason I didn't like the actual Tonido software that came with the plug computer, it was a SheevaPlug after all (I only had minor familiarity at the time), and I could just install Debian.
What I didn't know, and what the plugcomputer.org wiki really does not do well to make clear, is that most Debian installation instructions require dev-kit SheevaPlugs, or at least, SheevaPlugs with a serial console.
So, I don't have a SheevaPlug with a serial console, but it seems to me that I should still be able to install Debian (lenny, squeeze, or something) without the serial console. The non-dev-kit SheevaPlug still clearly boots from USB if possible (I reflashed my TonidoPlug's OS with a TonidoPlug usb stick image), and the SqueezePlug guy got something working, but Martin Michlmayr says my plug is essentially not supported (http://www.cyrius.com/debian/kirkwood/sheevaplug/plugs.html
Here's what I want to know. Without touching a serial console, how much can I do? Can I reflash UBoot? (Though, I don't much care what UBoot version is running cause I can't interact with it.) Can I install Debian for the TonidoPlug (or really, any non-dev-kit SheevaPlug) on a USB disk and have it boot it? Can I install Debian to the plug's flash memory (preferred)?
I'm a pretty paranoid guy, so I'm not looking for a premade image. In fact, the reason I'm not just sticking with the provided Ubuntu 8.whatever distro is that I'm worried about trusting my near-1TB of personal data to some crazy company's idea of a pre-installed operating system. Tonido doesn't give much cause to trust them (their application service stack, which I am incredibly unimpressed with, runs as root. Amateur hour.). So, I'm looking for preferably debootstrap instructions (or similar) that don't require any serial console interaction. Is it possible to set up a network-supporting Debian environment in some chroot on USB and have the Tonido boot it?
Again, pretty sure this isn't a crazy request. It's theoretically possible, just wondering what the difficulty is. Most of these HOWTOs make assumptions about having serial console access, and are also sort of outdated.